The Yankees, even if they could be buyers at the trade deadline (luxury tax), need to be sellers. Today, we add these players as Bye-Byes…
In a word, Yankees fans are frustrated by the performance of the team this year. While some hold onto the (mere) six games the team trails in the AL East standings, nearly all fans see the need for change in the construction of the “Bombers.”
As many readers pointed out, a case can be made for trading almost any Yankee but leaving the re-construction of the team to Brian Cashman, a GM who has seen better days, automatically takes the air out of any lift coming from having a younger, more aggressive, and spirited team.
We’ll tackle that anomaly at another time, but for now, let’s take a look at three more Yankees who should be given their walking papers in return only for prospects who will be major league ready in no more than two years.
Yankees Closer, Aroldis Chapman
If the Yankees decide not to trade Aroldis Chapman, he will be 34 when 2022 begins, is set to be in his walk-year next season before free agency in 2023, and due16 million dollars.
Chapman began the season on fire and has collected 16 saves, good enough to put him in a tie with four other closers in seventh place for MLB saves this year.
Telling though is Chapman’s 1.235 WHIP, the highest of any season in his career since ten years ago when he was with Cincinnati
More alarming, Chapman has been able to shrug off his propensity to choke up a home run (think the last two years during the playoffs) when a Yankees game is on the line.
Closers will always have a premium in baseball. Look, for instance, at the up and down career of Marc Melancon, the 2021 saves leader to date.
As such, Chapman should be one of the easiest trades for Brian Cashman to execute, especially and ironically to a team in contention (think the Cubs in 2015 who gave up Gleyber Torres for Chapman at the deadline) this year.
Chapman’s replacement – who cares? There must be at least two hundred or more players at the college level who match or exceed Chapman’s 101mph fastball. Draft a couple during this year’s College Draft scheduled for July 11-13 at the All-Star Game.
Yankees Right Fielder Aaron Judge
For the Yankees to trade Aaron Judge, arguably the face of the team, is a major step and likely to raise the ire of fans, especially, for example, the 10,000+ members of the Facebook Group, The Judge’s Chambers.
But when we consider that Judge is already at $10.175 million this year, with another year of arbitration on tap next year, before reaching free agency in 2023, the unsightly reach of Judge by then can only saddle the team with another long-term and ultra-expensive contract – in return for what?
Aaron Judge is having a rebound season for the Yankees, and he has been, next to Gio Urshela, the most consistent batter in the Yankees lineup, and with power (17 HR, 40 RBI) midway through the season.
With those numbers lurking in the background and straight-up in a trade, the Yankees and Brian Cashman can write their own ticket regarding what they get in return.
The decision on Judge points solely to the direction of the team Cashman intends to take the Yankees.
Some will say, and there is some logic, wait until next year when Judge is in his walk year to trade him, but the risk there is the Yankees are dealing with a player who has a long list of days on the Injured List (IL), but who is healthy now.
Tough call, they all are, but this is one guaranteed to enable a complete makeover of the Yankees team we know today.
Yankees Catcher Gary Sanchez
While it could be Sanchez has finally found his mark with the Yankees and the major leagues, you can’t subtract or ignore the past several seasons.
While Sanchez has improved on his passed ball rate (3 this year), he has digressed as someone “with a gun” to nabbing only one in ten runners attempting to steal.
The power is back, though, and it remains a question of whether or not the Yankees and Aaron Boone are ready to relinquish their undying belief in Sanchez, a player who has tested their patience since his breakout season in 2017.
With Sanchez, is this year’s recent power explosion lasting, or merely another glimpse into what could be?
Much like Chapman, Sanchez will draw considerable attention from teams.
In turn, though, this gives the Yankees (and let’s hope Cashman) an opportunity to alter the team’s composition, with an eye to tomorrow, instead of a limping try to sneak in as a Wild Card team this year.
The only Yankees “untouchables” I see are Gio Urshela (he’s a throwback and worthy of more All-Star consideration than he has earned), DJ LeMahieu, the Yankees’ Kickstarter, who will fulfill the remainder of his contract with accolades, if not this year then moving forward. Gerrit Cole is a true ace, who despite his recent struggles, is the ace of the pitching staff. Jordan Montgomery gets a nod too.
Possibles – But What Would It Matter?
Miguel Andujar has taken over the left-field spot from Clint Frazier and will demand attention from teams if Cashman floats him out there.
A displaced third-baseman in favor of Urshela, Andujar is holding his own in the field and has shown an awakening of the bat in June (.254 BA, 4 HR, 6th RBI), but his yield in a trade, unless coupled with another player, seems a stretch.
Zack Britton is another of the Yankees’ players who figured heavily in the Yankees’ plans for this season, but after one tweak injury after another, he has managed to appear in only five games.
As an experienced closer, if the Yankees don’t gamble on Britton as a replacement for a traded Chapman, he remains a trade piece for Cashman.
Brian Cashman is the wild card, and the future of the Yankees remains in his hands with a disinterested (opinion) owner, who is only in tune with the “bottom line” as an answer to his shareholders.
With his job seemingly safe, Cashman will need to decide if the work involved in uprooting the current Yankees team, together with the development of the players received in return, is a challenge he will accept, as the Yankees’ longest-tenured GM.
Theo Epstein said no thank you to the Cubs, taking a cush job as a “consultant” with MLB.
Cashman could say the same, and wouldn’t that be a boon for the Yankees of the future…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Jim Schiavo Sr. There should be nobody off-limits, the Yankees have two players making over $60 million, Stanton is a one-dimensional player another one of Cashmans worst deals, and anybody in and outside of baseball could have signed Cole to this disastrous contract.
Al Pratt If Cashman hadn’t gotten Stanton we wouldn’t have to trade Judge. It’s as simple as that.
Joel Albert Won’t be sellers
Billy Stiuso Sell Chapman, Sanchez, Urshela, and ask Stanton to waive no-trade to go back to the west coast (Padres), eat 50-75 mill, and ship him out! Put Frazier in left every game no matter what. Put DJ on third, Andujar on first, Torres on second. Voit can DH or trade him also! Bring up Florial for CF and Hoy Jun Park for super-utility to get some speed. Cut Odor. Bring up Trey Amburgey to play some outfield when Judge is banged up! Fire every coach!
Alex Cimini Billy Stiuso Explain why you would sell Gio. One of the only guys hitting and one of the best defensive third basemen in baseball. DJ is adequate but doesn’t compare to Urshela defensively!
Billy Stiuso Alex Cimini because he has value and DJ can move to third and Torres back to his natural position at second. Author’s Note: This is the kind of back and forth that makes this all worthwhile. Thanks, guys and just for hee-haws, Urshela is my guy.
Andrew Pal Sad that it has come to this. One of the highest payrolls in the game, yet a roster filled with players who have a better chance at the postseason with another team. Then, recent history tells us there’s a good chance they’ll be unable to develop the prospects they get back into the potential stars they are projected to be. The overhaul will not work unless it involves the front office and a change of philosophy from the dispassionate owner.
Chad Landsman Chapman has a full no-trade clause, so they need his permission to do so…Get Stanton to waive his no-trade contract with a bonus and that solves the greatest problem. Move Torres and Frazier as well. Cashman has to be fired, no getting around it. Reckless GM, that saddled us with bad contracts.
Closing Comments And Author’s Final Thoughts
The page is getting too long, and therefore I need to close off published comments. The cry from readers for big change is self-evident, but at the same time there’s also pessimism it will actually happen (Steve Contursi)